Kent County Show, Detling

This year the Kent County Show ran from Friday 13 to Sunday 15 July at the usual venue just off the A249 near Detling. It has been a long time since I was last there (helping at the Have-a-Go in my early days in the sport) and I have tried to steer well clear ever since because of the reputation for bad traffic delays! So I was pleasantly surprised to get the 15 miles from door to door in just over 30 minutes each morning and not a whole lot worse in the late morning on Sunday or each of the evening departures.

The Kent Wildlife Trust's badger 'has a go' with Crown Archers at Detling. Mike Brighton.

Members of Crown Archers were there running the Have-a-Go again this year and were kept very busy for the whole three days. This is one of those few occasions where archery gets out and really makes itself known and it does us all a lot of good. There are the membership enquiries from people from all over the county, but it is surprising how many people are actually surprised that archery exists as a sport in the 21st. century, so this is one excellent way in which the sport makes its existence known.

The Kent Wildlife Trust were also there nearby and at one point on Sunday their badger and frog both escaped - they both turned up on the archery range, but it seems that the excitement of winning was too much for the frog and it wasn't seen much for the rest of the day. The badger was last seen falling off a 15 foot pile of plastic crates, so it was fortunate it just happened to be wearing a safety harness!

This year archery had a second representation at the show, courtesy of the Kent County Council Sports Development Unit (KSDU) and Sport England. We were there for three reasons:

  • to publicise the Dover World Cup event,
  • to launch the new KSDU sport-specific web-pages,
  • to publicise archery in Kent and answer questions from the general public.

During the three days, we handed out a huge number of leaflets about the Dover event and gave contact details for local clubs to almost 40 enquirers, many of whom had tried archery in the past. There was also an opportunity to give a short interview to BBC Radio Kent about all the work that is going on at present. So, all-in-all a very enjoyable, if tiring few days.

Thanks go to Margaret Barrett and Tim East from the KAA committee, Mike Brighton (KAA President), Eric Jackson (the Dover event director), the members of Crown Archers and the staff of the KSDU and Sport England, who put in a lot of work on all our behalves.